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Falcons - Eagles reflections and takeaways from The Falcoholic staff

What did we learn and what do we expect now?

Philadelphia Eagles v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Do the Falcons have something here?

The biggest risk a week ago was that we might overreact. The biggest risk this week is...that we might overreact.

The Falcons played a good game last night, and likely would’ve won handily if not for Matt Ryan’s interception train. The defense looked much improved, the offense is sort of rounding into shape despite many hiccups, and critically the offensive line held up well against a tough challenge. But are we any closer to figuring out if this football team is a contender, especially a week after many were ready to give them up for dead? If we are, it’s only a little bit, and thus I retain my cautious optimism (especially in a decimated NFC South) and hope we’ll see more signs of greatness lurking next Sunday against the Colts. —Dave Choate

An ugly confidence boost

The stark contrast from the Vikings to the Eagles game is enough to send a Falcons fan into shock. This team is so much fun to watch when they are rolling, even in an ugly game like this. The win is a huge confidence booster. The Eagles have been consistently competitive and were the favorites to win. All three phases of the game (minus punting) made huge plays against the talented Eagles. Games have typically been won or lost solely on Matt Ryan’s arm, but we saw so many players make impact plays all game long. I’m still in shock. — Matt Chambers

Dominance in the trenches

Facing an Eagles offensive line that is one of the best in the league, the Falcons dominated in the trenches in a way I never could have expected. In fact, if it weren’t for Carson Wentz being so damned good at escaping pressure, this unit may have had 6 or 7 sacks on the night. Matt Ryan had another great/awful outing, but this time the defense was able to hold onto the lead until the final seconds ticked off the clock. There were still plenty of errors to go around and our special teams needs a swift kick in the pants, but this is the kind of performance you can build off of. These first two games were always going to be difficult, so going 1-1 feels like a good start to this season. Clean up the mistakes and this could be a really good team. - David Walker

Yes, they were fast and physical

“Fast and Physical” was one of the main sloganeering planks that accompanied Dan Quinn’s arrival in 2015. The “fast” part of that equation has been a focal point of this team since Quinn came on board, but physicality has seemingly eluded the Atlanta Falcons. Last night they checked that box, too, and it was a massively encouraging sign from a team that looked lifeless in Week 1. The prodigious shot that Ricardo Allen laid on Nelson Agholor is just one shining example of a team that went on the field Sunday evening ready to punish. If they can get the ground game sorted out, this Falcons team could be special. - Carter Breazeale

The start of something?

For a second there, it really seemed like this game was going to go like all the other games when the Falcons blow a lead to a team they should’ve beaten already. But then, somehow, it didn’t! I think that’s mental toughness and growth that absolutely goes to credit Dan Quinn and his maturing as a head coach. His team got the job done, though repeated attempts of failure were possible. It’s also quite fair to suggest the team got lucky with that Nelson Agholor whiff, and that we could very easily be staring at 0-2 and a tougher road ahead.

I think this a good football team who could be great if certain wrinkles are ironed out. I also think this team has to learn to put away games much earlier when they have the chance. Hoping for the big, dramatic play at the end can’t become commonplace, or this team will never reach its total potential. Still, it felt really good to beat a good team like the Eagles. You really hope this is the start of something. - Cory Woodroof